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Over @AAIHS – Doing and Being Intellectual History: #Formation as Curated by Black Women

Over at the African American Intellectual Society Blog, black women speak back to #Formation. The post includes thoughts from New Orleans black women not part of the still-updating archive here and is accompanied by amazing art by Soraya Jean-Louis McElroy of the NOLA Wildseeds: Octavia Butler Emergent Strategy Collective.

I wrote a short introduction. Below is an excerpt:

“An intellectual history of black women is, at its simplest, a history of “black women as producers of knowledge.”[2] A black feminist archival project is, at its simplest, a project designed to “document ourselves now, in ways that include, affirm, and activate our whole communities.”[3] A black feminist and radical womyn of color politics of citation is one that acknowledges ways black women’s intellectual production has been and continues to be rendered invisible, exploited, or devalued, then both centers the intellectual artifacts created by black women and privileges black women as producers and creators with the sole and extraordinary right to determine their encounters with institutions (i.e. academia, mainstream media, law enforcement vis à vis the surveillance of social media platforms and the internet more broadly) and bodies of thought outside their own circle….

“This becomes a moment to return to ways those invested in black intellectual history and those working for racial justice in the United States remember the Storm just over ten years later. At the end of the day, Hurricane Katrina happened in and to New Orleans. Nothing is like it and nothing ever will be. Katrina is also an unhealed trauma that continues to touch those in the South beyond New Orleans and its diaspora because it is evidence of a longer history of structural neglect, impoverishment, environmental injustice, and racial terror enacted by state and federal governments on the Delta, a place many people of African descent (not just black Americans) in this country have and feel some kinship to.[4]”

Read the full post at AAIHS: Doing and Being Intellectual History: #Formation as Curated by Black Women

“story behind my skin,” by Soraya Jean-Louis McElroy. Prints and more available here: